More strikes at Scandinavian airline SAS

Hundreds of flights were cancelled over the weekend due to a strike of flight attendants at SAS Sweden.

Submitted by Steven. on May 30, 2007

The Bangkok post reported that early Friday, about 800 flight attendants went on strike forcing SAS Sweden to cancel some 300 flights affecting some 20,000 passengers. About half of the cancellations were domestic flights.

Some 100 flights were cancelled on Saturday due to an ongoing strike by 800 flight attendants.

SAS Sweden flights were also expected to have been affected on Sunday, according to the carrier.

Talks between management and the Swedish Salaried Employees' Union (HTF) that organises the cabin crew had shown no sign of a breakthrough by Saturday afternoon.

SAS Sweden chief executive Anders Ehrling said Friday the deadlock was due to "power issues" being pushed by the union, adding that the future of the air carrier was at stake.

SAS Sweden is part of the SAS Group that operates the joint carrier Scandinavian Airlines.

The parties have agreed on wage terms, but union representatives have said their members need to have more say over work schedules, including proper meal breaks and time to rest between flights.

The union said its members had made far too great "sacrifices" to help salvage the carrier when it reported massive losses a few years ago.

The governments of Norway, Sweden and Denmark together own a 50- per-cent stake in SAS, while private shareholders hold the rest.

Last month, SAS was hit by a three-day wildcat strike at SAS Denmark. In 2006, a wildcat strike of pilots grounded hundreds more flights.

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